On the May 12 episode of ABC’s “Private Practice,” Dr. Addison Montgomery (played by actress Kate Walsh, a real-life Planned Parenthood activist) spewed the strongest pro-abortion — “pro-choice” — rhetoric as she performed a partial-birth abortion on a woman who thought she’d already had an abortion two months before.
“I hate what I’m about to do, but I support Patty’s right to choose,” the doctor declares. “It is not enough just to have an opinion, because in a nation of over 300 million people, there are only 1,700 abortion providers. And I’m one of them.”
The poor, poor killer of babies. ABC should have cued the orchestra to swell up and champion the few and the proud, followed by the on-screen credit, “This message brought to you by Planned Parenthood.” It was that blatant.
There were no cheers for this very special episode from the usual liberal TV critics, and feminist groups weren’t shaking pom-poms either. But there’s probably a Planned Parenthood “Maggie Award for Media Excellence” in ABC’s future. Walsh won this award in 2008 for her “extensive advocacy efforts on behalf of affordable family planning services and real sex education.”
The tension in the “Private Practice” plot came from the show’s pro-life character, African-American fertility specialist Dr. Naomi Bennett. When she first protests the partial-birth abortion, Addison argues, “Partial birth is not a medical term, it’s a political term, and you know it.”